Valley Proteins Linkwood Renewal Permit

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- ALERT -

On December 13, 2021, a request was received to extend the comment period. On December 16th, the Department chose to grant the request. The comment period has been extended for another 30-days. The comment period now ends at the close of business, 5:00 PM, on Friday, January 14, 2022. Faxed or emailed comments must be received by 5:00 PM. Mailed comments must be postmarked by the 14th.


NOTICE OF TENTATIVE DETERMINATION AND PUBLIC HEARING

Dorchester County 

Application for State Discharge Permit 04DP0024, NPDES Permit MD0003247:

Valley Proteins, Inc., 5420 Linkwood Rd., Linkwood, MD 21835, submitted an application for renewal of a permit to discharge an average of 150,000 gallons per day of process wastewater and variable volumes of stormwater from a poultry rendering facility located at 5420 Linkwood Rd., Linkwood, MD to an unnamed tributary to Higgins Millpond and Transquaking River (Use I waters).  The applicant has also requested expansion of the process wastewater flow to a potential average of 575,000 gallons per day.

Draft Permit Conditions

The Department proposes to issue the permit with limits on the following parameters at Outfall 001 to be effective immediately upon the permit effective date: 

  • biochemical oxygen demand (from Apr.-Nov.: 31 lbs/day average, 39 lbs/day maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 90 lbs/day average, 180 lbs/day maximum); 

  • total suspended solids (from Apr.-Nov.: 39 lbs/day average, 53 lbs/day maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 110 lbs/day average, 220 lbs/day maximum); 

  • ammonia (from Apr.-Nov.: 4.2 mg/L average, 23 mg/L maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 10 mg/L average, 23 mg/L maximum); 

  • oil and grease (from Apr.-Nov.: 13 lbs/day average, 20 lbs/day maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 50 lbs/day average, 100 lbs/day maximum); 

  • total nitrogen (1,231 lbs/month maximum); 

  • total phosphorus (123 lbs/month maximum); 

  • pH (range of 6.0 to 9.0); 

  • dissolved oxygen (5.0 mg/L minimum); and 

  • total residual chlorine (0.011 mg/L average, 0.019 mg/L maximum).  

  • Additionally, a maximum limitation of 200 MPN/100mL is proposed for fecal coliform, to be superseded by a proposed maximum limitation of 126 MPN/100mL for E. coli within one year of permit issuance.  

  • Monitoring without limitations is proposed for flow and total Kjeldahl nitrogen

The Department additionally proposes a compliance schedule of three years for upgrading wastewater treatment at the facility and implementation of new limitations at Outfall 001.  The value of the new limitations will be determined by the future flow volume chosen by the permittee.  No later than three years following the permit effective date, the permittee must elect limitations based on a flow rate of 150,000 or a flow rate of up to 575,000 gallons per day (gpd).  Each option is associated with a different set of proposed stricter limitations which will become effective upon election of a chosen path by the permittee.  Once a path is selected, it cannot be changed without major permit modification.  The terms of the proposed compliance schedule, including interim milestones, are expressed in a narrative condition in the draft permit. 

Regardless of the path selected, the Department proposes the following new limitations at Outfall 001 to become effective once the selection is made: 

  • total nitrogen (8,477 lbs/year maximum), 

  • total phosphorus (315 lbs/year maximum), 

  • biochemical oxygen demand (from Apr.-Nov.: 6.0 mg/L average); 

  • total Kjeldahl nitrogen (2.8 mg/L annual average); and 

  • pH (range of 6.0 to 7.8).

Should the applicant elect an average flow rate of 150,000 gpd, the Department proposes the following additional new limitations at Outfall 001:

  • biochemical oxygen demand (from Dec.-Mar.: 12 mg/L average); 

  • ammonia (from Apr.-Nov.: 1.5 mg/L average, 12.2 mg/L maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 3.3 mg/L average, 12.5 mg/L maximum); and 

  • dissolved oxygen (6.0 mg/L minimum).

Should the applicant elect to increase the average flow rate above 150,000 gpd (up to a potential average of 575,000 gpd), the Department proposes the following additional new limitations at Outfall 001: 

  • biochemical oxygen demand (from Dec.-Mar.: 8.0 mg/L average); 

  • ammonia (from Apr.-Nov.: 1.4 mg/L average, 12.2 mg/L maximum; from Dec.-Mar.: 3.2 mg/L average, 12.2 mg/L maximum); and 

  • dissolved oxygen (from Apr.-Nov.: 6.5 mg/L minimum; from Dec.-Mar.: 6.0 mg/L minimum). 

Any parameters which are not impacted by proposed new limitations following the selection of future flow by the permittee are proposed to have the limitations maintained at the levels which are effective immediately upon permit issuance. 

In addition to the above numeric limitations and monitoring, the Department also proposes to require chronic whole effluent toxicity testing following the installation of the new wastewater treatment, monitoring of groundwater at several locations on the property, proper sludge management (including specific reporting requirements), odor control measures, and a prohibition on ground application of wastewater. 

How to Submit Comments

Written comments concerning the tentative determination will be considered in the preparation of a final determination if submitted to the Department before 5 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022

Formerly, the comment period ended on December 15, 2021. The December 15th end date already incorporated the additional 60-day period provided in §1-606(d)(1)(ii) of the Environment Article.  A request was received to extend the comment period further and the Department chose to grant the request with an additional 30-day extension.

Comments should be directed via email to Michael.Richardson@Maryland.gov or mailed to:

Maryland Department of the Environment

Water and Science Administration

1800 Washington Blvd., Ste. 455

Baltimore, MD 21230-1708

Attn: Michael Richardson, Industrial & General Permits Division


Any person who has submitted a comment or attended a hearing (virtual or in-person) and who has provided your name and mailing address is automatically added to the interested persons list for this permit. If you wish to be added to the interested persons list for this permit, but have not provided your name and mailing address, you may do so by completing this form: Valley Proteins Interest List Form.

Public Hearings

Virtual Public Hearing

The Department held a virtual public hearing concerning the tentative determination on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, from 5 to 9 PM. Copies of the two presentations delivered by the Department during the virtual public hearing are available for download below:

In-Person Public Hearing

The Department held an in-person public hearing concerning the tentative determination on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM at the Linkwood-Salem Volunteer Fire Department Meeting Hall, 3905 Ocean Gateway, Linkwood, MD 21835. Copies of the two presentations delivered by the Department during the in-person hearing and the agenda provided to attendees are available for download below: 

How to Obtain Documents

Links to download a copy of the application, draft permit, fact sheet, and other relevant documents are available at the bottom of this section. Alternatively, documents may be downloaded from:

https://mdewwp.page.link/WWPPortal.  

At that web page, search for State Number 04DP0024, click “More Info,” and then select the desired document(s) to download. Hard copies of these documents may also be obtained directly from the Department at a cost of $0.36 per page. Any questions regarding documents or the hearing should be directed to Robert Pudmericky at Rob.Pudmericky@Maryland.gov or by telephone at 410-537-3323, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday (except for state holidays).  

The draft permit and supplemental documents can be downloaded using the links below:

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The Notice of Tentative Determination and Virtual Public Hearing was published September 15 and 22, 2021 in the Daily Banner.​

The Notice of In-Person Public Hearing was published October 13 and 20, 2021 in the Daily Banner.

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